Review options for citrus cold-protection practices, courtesy of a UF/IFAS citrus Extension agent.

It’s that time of year where Florida citrus growers have to start worrying about cold weather affecting their precious citrus. In the face of citrus greening and Postbloom Fruit Drop (PFD), it’s an important consideration when every piece of citrus matters. UF/IFAS citrus Extension agent, Chris Oswalt, shared options for citrus cold-protection practices in a recent Citrus Industry article. See a summary of those citrus cold-protection practices below.

Options for Citrus Cold-Protection Practices

Passive Citrus Cold-Protection Options

“Passive practices are those things that growers would intentionally do before typically planting the grove,” Oswalt explained in the article. They include:

  • “Site Selection including planting on higher elevations that are warmer than lower cold-pocket locations, is a prime example.
  • “Row-middle management to keep weeds from interfering with solar radiation getting into the soil where it is released at night.”
  • “Avoiding nutritional and water stress.”
  • “Choosing rootstock-scion combinations that have cold tolerance.”

Active Citrus Cold-Protection Options

Active practices are those that are utilized as cold weather is approaching. They include:

  • “Using wind machines in cold pockets to mix the air so it becomes warmer.”
  • Microsprinkler irrigation. Tiny water droplets form protective ice coverings all around young fruit.

According to the article, microsprinkler irrigation has become “the most widely used active cold-protection method for Florida citrus” in the last decade. Oswalt said in the article, “You need to consider when to start those irrigation systems based on the temperatures and when they are going to get close to freezing because you don’t want your irrigation system or your emitters to get frozen before you have a chance to start the irrigation system.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.